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Little Movement Seen For Singapore Stock Market

The Singapore stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after it had ended the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 60 points or 1.9 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just above the 3,210-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid a lack of catalysts, although sliding crude oil prices may weigh. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. markets were mostly lower - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The STI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and industrials were capped by weakness from the property sector.

For the day, the index rose 16.53 points or 0.52 percent to finish at 3,211.49 after trading between 3,197.67 and 3,216.63. Volume was 939.16 million shares worth 938.46 million Singapore dollars. There were 243 gainers and 135 decliners.

Among the actives, SembCorp Industries surged 1.83 percent, Singapore Press Holdings plunged 1.44 percent, Comfort DelGro soared 1.22 percent, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding spiked 0.90 percent, CapitaLand and Singapore Exchange both jumped 0.83 percent, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation collected 0.82 percent, Keppel Corp climbed 0.81 percent, DBS Group advanced 0.75 percent, Ascendas REIT added 0.64 percent, Genting Singapore gained 0.56 percent, Thai Beverage gathered 0.55 percent, CapitaLand Commercial Trust shed 0.47 percent, CapitaLand Mall Trust lost 0.38 percent and Wilmar International, United Overseas Bank, SingTel, Golden Agri-Resources and Hutchison Port Holdings all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Friday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The Dow added 37.07 points or 0.14 percent to 27,219.52, while the NASDAQ fell 17.75 points or 0.22 percent and the S&P 500 lost 2.18 points or 0.07 percent to 3,007.39. For the week, the Dow gained 1.6 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.9 percent and the S&P was up 1 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as the major averages encountered some resistance as they climbed back within striking distance of the record highs set in July.

Signs of easing trade tensions between the U.S. and China and upbeat economic data generated some positive sentiment, but traders seemed wary amid lingering uncertainty.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in August, while the University of Michigan noted that U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded more than expected in September.

Crude oil prices edged lower on Friday, extending losses to a fourth straight session as traders feared a likely drop in energy demand and excess supply in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.24 or 0.4 percent at $54.85 a barrel.

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